Planting & Maintaining a Seed Lawn

lawn maintenanceOften my customers will inquire as to when is the best time to start a seed lawn. The ideal time is now-between mid-August and mid-September here on Long Island and anywhere the season is changing from summer to fall.  It is also a good time for core-aeration and overseeding to help enhance the health and vitality of your turf.

CORE AERATION:  a process in which a machine is used to poke holes in the lawn to provide aeration.  In compacted lawns core aeration improves soil drainage and oxygen flow by loosening the soil.   It is best to core-aerate when you are overseeding an existing lawn.

OVER-SEEDING:  Over-seeding fills in the gaps in the lawn that need fixing.  The best way to overseed is to dethatch and aerate the lawn, add new topsoil where needed, then reseed and use a top-dress of pennmulch seed accelerator to help the seed along.   Keep the lawn watered (moist) until the new seed germinates.

STEPS TO SEEDING A LAWN:  First clear the area of existing lawn and debris.  Then bring in a good quality organic topsoil and grade the area being seeded.  Apply a starter fertilizer and lime according to the spreading rate on the bag.  Use a hand tamper or water roller to firm the soil then rake the top layer to loosen the planting layer. Use the appropriate type of seed for your location and conditions of sunlight.  There are many brands on the market and yes…price does matter!  The cheaper brands are not better.  In the case of seed look for a good professional blend of preferably a tall fescue and rye mix.  Also keep in mind that there are varieties of seed for full sun to shade and that seed will not geminate if it is too shady (full shade).  Ask your professional for advice.  Once your area is prepared use a spreader to apply your seed at the recommended rate on the packaging and lightly rake or roll the seed into the soil.  Apply pennmulch topping to keep in moisture and help the seed to germinate.  Water a couple times a day at 10-15 minutes intervals to keep the seed just slightly moist…do not overwater!  The seed will take about a week or so to start germinating.  Mow for the first time when your lawn has grown to a normal mowing height of approximately six to eight inches.

Author: Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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